07 August 2013

London's Thames Barrier

I've been wanting to see the Thames Barrier for some time

This 520 meter span of contemporary gating has protected
the area of London from flooding since 1982

As one of the world's largest movable flood barriers,
these gates actively have protected London over 100 times since they became operational

With London and O2 Arena in the background, you can see one black gate in position on the right

With a long history of fatal floods,
the spring tidal surge from the North Sea tends to be a habitual problem

information about surge tides comes from weather satellites, oil rigs,
weather ships and coastal stations

All ten gates (20 meters high) can be closed in 1.5 hours

Here is the possible extent of flooding without today's protection

Not a high quality photo,
but it does give you something to consider the next time
you see the river at low tide

The layers of time you can see on the walls!

Located in Greenwich,
you too can view these steel and wooden beauties

While we did swing by the Visitor's Center,
I wouldn't necessarily recommend paying for it
as most of the information is online

You can view the Thames Barrier from the river towpath at anytime

Photo Credits: 1 (mine), 2 & 3 (Environment Agency)
Source: Environment Agency

(A non-sponsored post)


HippieGirl21 said...

You mean that without those flood gates, the building attached to Big Ben could flood? Wow, that's scary!!!

Pom Pom said...

I didn't know about this. Amazing.

Deborah said...

I love your posts......thought I better let you know. This is so interesting!

Jan said...

Really interesting - I love things like this. Jx

Pondside said...

There is something quite beautiful about these flood barriers. I've just read a post on Greenwich and have bookmarked it for when I next get to visit London.

Jennifer said...

That's really interesting. I didn't know about it but I didn't know much about the Thames, period. Is it fed by a larger body of water?

Iota said...

I love how INTERESTED you are in all aspects of British life. It's wonderful that you would visit a flood barrier (though I agree, it is quite fascinating - I've visited it myself!)

Don't forget the Pickering War Week-end.

Amy at love made my home said...

You are a great example of how we never go to the places where we live. I have never been to the Thames Barrier and never thought of going, but now you have caught my interest and I really want to visit!

Great post, and very interesting.

Sissym Mascarenhas said...


I do not know England, but I had never seen it before. It's really fantastic. All I knew were the dikes of Holland. They have the purpose of keeping certain portions of dry land.


Jeanie said...

That's fascinating -- I had no idea!

Bronwyn said...

Must visit here the next time I am in London - spring 2015!

Anna-Marie Field said...

Hi Laura,Loved this post!!!Very interesting!!!Would something like this have helped lessen the extent of the damage done during Katrina!!!
Have a fab day!!!

Tammy Chrzan said...

This is so cool.
You know I've wanted to go here, but it's one of those places on my "To Do" list and when I'm in London there are so many other things to do! But I will get there, I find places like this amazing.
I really enjoyed your explaining all of that as well, because to be honest I didn't know that London would have a flood problem if it weren't for those gates, and a flood in London would be horrific to say the least. Every single time I'm at the Thames I think to myself "Is it me or does that water seem low?" well... now I see it's meant to be!
Have a great up coming weekend,
Tammy x

greenthumb said...

I have never heard about this place.

greenthumb said...

I have never heard about this place.

anexactinglife said...

I have been to London 5 times and I try to do a few new things each time - I had decided that the Thames Barrier, the Observatory at Greenwich, and the City of London Museum would be next. Great to get an advance view!

My Garden Diaries said...

I have never seen these before but boy does that make sense to have those in place! Very interesting and they look almost space age! Cheers!! Have a lovely weekend!!

Chel @ Sweetbriar Dreams said...

I was here a couple of weeks ago and can remember my Grandad telling me about the 1930's flood which meant that a lot of the residents had to move into Greater London and the area pulled down. Great photos and I am looking forward to reading more about my home town (now living in Lincolnshire) xx

Janey and Co. said...

This is new to me. neat post!...Jane